Poetry

Yan Shu (right) encountered Wang Qi while traveling to Hangzhou to assume office. He invited Wang, second in command of Jiangdu County, for dinner, and told him of his trouble: He was working on a poem, and could not come up with the next phrase after “Helplessly, the flowers wither away” Wang Qi, deep in thought, looked up into the sky. Some swallows flew past. “Why not use ‘The swallows, once seen, return again’? he said. Yan heard the verse, shouted 'Bravo!', and adopted it. It remains a familiar saying in Chinese to this day. ( (Image courtesy of  Mu Chuan, Taste of Life Magazine )

The Quiet Conqueror: Poet Yan Shu

Some ancient Chinese advisors led vast armies to suppress rebels, while others devised elaborate stratagems to eliminate political rivals. Yet others were like Yan Shu. Born in a peaceful era of the Northern Song Dynasty, he was admired for a…

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An Ancient Poem Reunited a Father and Son

In 407 B.C., the ancient Chinese state of Wei defeated the state of Zhongsan during the Warring States Period. Wenhou, the King of the state of Wei, conferred the title…

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The Quiet Conqueror: Poet Yan Shu

Some ancient Chinese advisors led vast armies to suppress rebels, while others devised elaborate stratagems to eliminate political rivals. Yet others were like Yan Shu. Born in a peaceful era…